You may have heard recently, as I did, that a new restaurant is about to open in the space that once housed the short-lived, though wildly popular King James Pub. It’s no secret that the shit hit the fan at The King James Pub, when basic, intractable disagreements between Executive Chef Steven Goff and his investors resulted in the closure of one of the best spots in town, and one of our most creative and daring Chefs leaving Asheville for Raleigh. It was a tragedy all-around, and one of the biggest cluster-fucks in recent Foodtopian history. The King James was very much beloved by the Chestnut Hill / Beaucatcher Mountain neighborhoods of North Asheville, and Eaters all over town, and no one was sadder than me when it closed down… no one except for maybe Kim Murray.
Kim is a fan of Chef Steven Goff, his food, and his cooking philosophy; she was a frequent customer of the King James Pub; and she is the current Managing Partner of the Bone & Broth, a new British-inspired pub, which is slated to open in August, 2016. Murray hopes to fill the void left in the neighborhood, and in her own heart, when her favorite neighborhood pub closed its doors last year. She told me herself that she wants to give the neighborhood back something it had lost. A loss she felt as a customer, and one she thought she could help mend given her 28 years of experience in the restaurant business, seven of those spent at The Lobster Trap, one of Ahseville’s oldest, and most popular eating establishments.
I heard through the grapevine that Kim wanted to talk to me about her new venture, so we met at PennyCup Coffee in the RAD and had a really lovely conversation. She’s smart, up-beat, funny, and is a very warm, genuine person, with tons of experience, chutzpah, know-how, and a very realistic sense of what’s possible in the space that she’s working with. Here are some of the take-away bullet points that I got from our conversation:
FULL DISCLOSURE: I worked at the King James Pub doing a weekly promo called Punk Rock Sundays. This next part is all me, and has nothing at all to do with Kim. This is my opinion and mine alone:
What happened at the King James Pub was total crap from my point of view. I thought my buddy Steven got the shaft, while my other buddy Peter was left holding the bag, and the non-restaurateur, non-chef investors (whom I do not know) shot themselves in the foot by interfering in the day-to-day business of running a restaurant. Because of all that, our food scene suffered a big blow, when The King James closed down and a great Asheville chef moved to Raleigh. Friendships were fractured, money and jobs were lost, and the whole mess was a bummer that resulted in bad feelings all around.
Kim is the real deal. I like her. She’s one of us. Meeting her in person, looking her in the eye, and hearing her thoughts and plans made me feel better, and I have confidence in her ability to make that space into something the neighborhood, and the whole town can enjoy again.
Here’s a quote from the press release:
“Launching Bone & Broth is a dream come true for me. We have a fabulous team, with a great concept. I’m thrilled to be leading this new venture and look forward to introducing our customers to the wide array of locally grown meats that are available to us.”
Oh yeah, she’s really into meat. And she also owns a cleaning business that you may have heard of called “Two Bitches and a Broom,” so she’s pretty fuckin’ cool.
Now, of course, when they open their doors and start slinging food, I’ll stop in for sure, and give you guys the scoop on how it is!
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BONE & BROTH
94 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC
“Located in the King James building (circa 1920)on Charlotte Street in Asheville’s historic Chestnut Hill District, the restaurant has 92 seats, and includes outdoor seating. Bone & Broth is scheduled to open for dinner only, six days a week, beginning in late Summer.”
Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.
My neighbor, Jimmy, drives a tow truck, and he often gives me his restaurant recommendations. I just smile and say thanks, but we don’t have the same tastes so I don’t follow his leads.
Funny thing is, Jimmy kinda looks like “Stu”. And talks like him too, like lots of swear words.
Just wondering, is that you Jimmy???
Helm is not a foodie. He sure as hell is no writer. Hence, not a food writer. Look at his credentials. He can rant all he wants to champion his posse full of posers. No one cares.
Oh, and Punk Rock Sunday’s was more to be pitied than shamed I suppose. A handful of losers drinking PBR. Yawn,
Looking forward to something new there…great location.
Those who care about the planet should read Chris Hedges’ piece, “Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time.”
I can’t believe how much bias is in this article. Food writers are not supposed to have personal relationships with chefs. Unprofessional and totally biased.
Also, as a “foodie”, you should know that the “Snout to Tail” philosophy was not created by Steven. It was embraced by him, but it’s incorrect to say “Steven Goff’s ‘Snout to Tail’ philosophy” as if it was his original idea.
Is this guys 15 seconds up yet?